Format: Group stage, second round, third-place playoff, final
Runners-up: West Germany
Golden boot: Paolo Rossi (Italy)
Spain hosted its first World Cup that took place across 14 cities and 17 stadiums, welcoming 24 countries – the first time the number was increased from 16.
While Argentina were riding on their success on home soil four years earlier, and the talent of their young star Diego Maradona, they failed to go past the second group stage.
Meanwhile, Brazil put on a memorable display of attacking football, led by stars such as Zico, Falcao and Socrates. However, they could not qualify for the semi-finals after losing their last match against eventual champions Italy.
Algeria, playing in their first World Cup, produced one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history when they beat reigning European champions West Germany 2-1. They also beat Chile 3-2, and had a chance of qualifying for the second round, only to be denied by a controversial result in the last group match where West Germany beat Austria 1-0.
Knowing that a one-goal or two-goal win for West Germany would qualify both the teams, the former world champions scored in the 10th minute and then both teams showed a lack of intent to score for the rest of the match.
Other tournament debutants included Cameroon, Honduras, Kuwait and New Zealand.
Hosts Spain failed to go past the second round and faced allegations of favouritism from the officials.
The final between former champions Italy and West Germany saw Paolo Rossi score his sixth goal of the tournament.
Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli scored two more for the Italians. Paul Breitner’s 83rd-minute goal would not revive the Germans as the Azzurri secured their third world title.
Introduction of penalty shootout after extra time in knockout games.
Maradona’s debut at the World Cup.
Hungary’s 10-1 win over El Salvador equalled the biggest margin of victory.
Allegations of unfair play against West Germany and Austria in group stages.
British nations faced the possibility of withdrawing from the tournament after the Falklands War with Argentina, but decided to participate.